While COVID-19 continues its assault on healthcare systems across the country, CNA reminds people across Canada that nurses keep answering the call
OTTAWA, ON and TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2022 /CNW/ – Canadian Nurses Association, the national organization dedicated to championing nurses across Canada, today unveiled a massive, 28-storey reminder to people in Canada of the immense role nurses have played and continue to play amidst a continuing worldwide health-care crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mural, entitled “We Are Nurses — We Answer The Call,” located at Toronto’s Dixon Hall shelter in the Yonge-Dundas area, was officially dedicated this morning at an on-site ceremony which included remarks from CNA executives and spokespersons.
“COVID has impacted the nursing profession in measures we still can’t quantify,” said Tim Guest, CNA President. “Nurses in all practice settings, many in crisis, have played a significant role in the last two years responding to this deadly virus. Despite the disproportionate toll on their own mental health as a result, they have continued to answer the call that this pandemic has foisted on the Canadian health systems. The latest wave may be waning, but we are in still in the middle of a bonafide health-care crisis. This monumental artwork serves as a reminder of nurses’ sacrifice.”
The mural, created by artist collective Oneday Creates, depicts the diverse faces of four nurses looking out at the city’s skyline. Complementing the static image featured on the wall, and as a nod to the art and science in which the nursing profession is steeped, the mural also contains an augmented reality overlay, launched via QR code on mobile devices. The AR experience brings the nurses’ faces to life with voiceovers and links to stories from the front line and other CNA initiatives.
Among the CNA’s initiatives is the call for a national coordinating body to address critical health workforce gaps by guiding the retention and recruitment of nurses through enhanced data collection. Nurses also deserve safe working conditions, which should include immediate deployment of mental health resources targeted to health-care workers, and additional efforts to ensure safe patient-to-nurse ratios.
“If we don’t care for our nurses,” said CNA spokesperson and JUNO award-winning Indigenous singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark, “how can we expect them to care for us? The nursing profession is on the brink of collapse. Nurses are burnt out, demoralized and have little left to give—and yet they still show up.”
The latest statistics indicate alarming numbers for the nursing profession and Canada’s healthcare system writ large:
- Rates of anxiety and depression among nurses has increased over 40%, and the Omicron variant’s surge in recent weeks has only added to this number.
- Preliminary studies conducted by the Healthy Professional Worker Partnership show that one in three nurses has given serious thought to leaving their health care facility and/or the profession altogether. Critical care shortages have been further exacerbated by large numbers of health workers being unable to work due to isolation requirements.
- While the pandemic has taken its toll on all Canadians, healthcare workers unsurprisingly top the list. A recent poll from Canada Life and Mental Health Research Canada, in which CNA was a participant, found that a staggering 66% of nurses report workplace burnout—practically doubling the national average of 35%.
Added Guest: “Without nurses, there can be no health-care. We need nurses to know that people living in Canada have their backs. We hope every nurse that sees this mural is reminded of this sentiment and hopefully of the concrete positive actions spurred in the wake of this crisis.”
To see more of the mural and learn about the project and Canadian Nurses Association’s broader mandate, visit www.WeAreNurses.ca
About Canadian Nurses Association
CNA is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing. We represent registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed and registered practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, retired nurses, and nursing students across all 13 provinces and territories. Learn more at www.cna-aiic.ca
SOURCE Canadian Nurses Association